Mindful Moment Anti-Racism Resource
This is a reflection rooted in practices of the Congregation of St. Joseph that is a way to enter into reflection and discussion on identity, diversity, and our relationships as coworkers in mission. It was crafted as a simple exercise that could be incorporated into regular meetings or gatherings of staff, pulled from a larger toolkit of resources developed by our Director of Mission Integration.
From the earliest days, the ‘State of the Heart’ is the prayer form most often shared among the Family of St. Joseph. This prayer flows out of our daily experience, helping us to reflect and connect with one another. Below you will find the basic practice of Sharing the State of the Heart along with a text to spark your reflection. Sharing the State of the Heart is not a discussion tool with back and forth among participants. It is a practice of listening – listening to the Spirit and one another. You will see that while everyone is encouraged to participate, you are asked not to respond to what others share.
To begin, you may wish to open with silence or a brief prayer.
Next, read aloud the text offered for today: “Our commitment to love without distinction is not about erasing the differences between us. The experiences we bring – our racial, cultural, ethnic backgrounds; our socio-economic realities; our situation in the workplace; our religious beliefs and practices; are what make us whole. To love the Dear Neighbor ‘without distinction’ does not mean that we do not see these differences among us. Rather, we recognize the uniqueness of each individual in their wholeness, and we strive to bring about a community that lives, works, and acts with compassion without distinction. We honor and celebrate the whole, unique individual as we enter into unity.”
Take a few moments to silently reflect on the passage and the following questions. How much do I recognize the complex identities of my coworkers – of myself? How comfortable am I with seeing the whole person in my interactions? How aware am I that visible differences such as race, are consistently a defining point of judgment and affect how a person is received?
Sharing the State of the Heart
In a circle, share a word or phrase that names what is happening in your heart as we gather or in response to what we just read/heard. (All listen and receive the sharing—no comment)
- After all have shared their word or phrase: each is invited to share the experience behind the word or phrase. (All listen and receive no comment)
- After everyone has been heard, share what is happening in you after listening to these experiences. (Again just listen and receive—no comment)
Remember – Sharing the State of the Heart is about what is stirring in you. This may mean your word and experience is sharing an emotion. It may lead to discomfort. It may lead to further reflection in the days or weeks to come. This is an opportunity to listen to one another and to hear where the Spirit is inviting us to grow in our formation and in our work as we continue to live out the mission. Taking time to listen to ourselves, one another, and the Spirit is a foundational aspect of our mission. While the busy schedules of our daily work are critical, so too is taking the time to reflect and form ourselves individually and collectively.